After puncturing the pomposity of Anglo-Saxon politics in The Thick of It and Veep, comic titan Armando Iannucci turns his sardonic eye to Russian history. Upon the sudden death of their glorious leader Stalin, a group of political mercenaries, ranging from his son to the Foreign Secretary, all hatch personal schemes to wrestle control of the Soviet state.
Showcasing a wonderful mix of the world’s leading comic actors (Jeffrey Tambor, Michael Palin) and those more known for their dramatic turns (Steve Buscemi, Jason Isaacs, Andrea Riseborough), Iannucci has crafted a maniacally funny film that exposes the corruption and nepotism at the heart of power. And while Iannucci's adept handling of such blackly comic gallows humour is no surprise, he notably refuses to trivialise the solemn horrors of Stalin's reign. A cult comedy in the making, The Death of Stalin is a riotous satire of the grisly extremes of political machination.
Comedy 2019 116 mins Director: Danny Boyle
Danny Boyle's winning, escapist fantasy images a world where nobody remembers the Beatles' songbook except a struggling singer-songwriter.
Drama 2018 90 mins Director: Andrew Bujalski
Andrew Bujalski serves up a big-hearted comedy with his day-in-the-life look at Double Whammies – a Hooters-style bar and its tight-knit, all-female staff.
Comedy 1951 103 mins Director: Gene Kelly
Hollywood’s troubled transition from silent to talking pictures at the end of the 1920s provided the inspiration for this greatest of movie musicals.
Comedy 1954 112 mins Director: Roy Rowland
Jane Powell and Debbie Reynolds lead an all-star cast in this memorable maritime musical.
Comedy 2018 91 mins Director: Carl Hunter
Bill Nighy, Sam Riley and Alice Lowe star in this stylish and heartfelt comedy-drama about a Scrabble-obsessed tailor searching for a lost son.
Comedy 1986 94 mins Director: Frank Oz
Frank Oz's vivid adaptation of the cult sci-fi musical, with Rick Moranis as a flower-shop assistant battling a 'Mean Green Mother from Outer Space'.
Best Films of 2018
Drama 2016 103 mins Director: Maysaloun Hamoud
Three strong, independent Israeli-Palestinian women try to square their liberated, hedonistic lifestyles with the stultifying restrictions of conservative family life, in Maysaloun Hamoud's charming and vital drama.
Drama 2017 105 mins Director: Francis Lee
A troubled young sheep farmer falls for a hired hand in this stunning debut from Francis Lee.
Documentary 2017 115 mins Director: Sophie Fiennes
Grace Jones is laid bare in this intimate and electrifying insight into the fascinating world of a pop-cultural phenomenon.
Comedy 2017 71 mins Director: Sally Potter
Following some unexpected revelations, a celebration quickly takes a turn for the worse in Sally Potter's razor-sharp comedy.
Drama 2017 112 mins Director: Sean Baker
Tangerine director Sean Baker presents another visionary take on the wild ups and dangerous downs of life in America’s underbelly, featuring an Oscar-nominated turn from Willem Dafoe.
Biopic 2017 106 mins Director: Paul McGuigan
Annette Bening and Jamie Bell bring to life the true story of the love affair between Gloria Grahame and young, Liverpudlian actor Peter Turner.
Featuring Steve Buscemi
Drama 2017 86 mins Director: Christina Choe
Andrea Riseborough is extraordinary in this disquieting drama about a woman convinced that she was kidnapped as a child and might have found her real parents.
Drama 2017 122 mins Director: Andrew Haigh
The ravishing fourth feature from Andrew Haigh (45 Years, Weekend) sees a boy and a horse embark on a Huckleberry Finn-esque journey across America in search of home.
Film noir 1991 99 mins Director: Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino explodes onto the screen with his debut feature following a jewellery heist gone horribly, violently wrong.
Comedy 1996 91 mins Director: Steve Buscemi
Venerable character actor Steve Buscemi steps behind the camera in this profound character study on a lonely, alcoholic, and unemployed mechanic.
Comedy 1998 117 mins Director: Joel Coen
Arguably one of the greatest comedies of modern times; the Coen brothers’ deconstructed film noir following slacker hero ‘The Dude’ (Jeff Bridges).
Directed by Armando Iannucci
Comedy 2009 106 mins Director: Armando Iannucci
Armando Iannucci returns to the world of his hit show The Thick of It as Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi) and Simon Foster (Tom Hollander) deal with a Middle-East crisis of their own making.
Drama 2018 84 mins Director: William McGregor
A young girl tries desperately to protect her family from illness and dark outside forces in William McGregor's stark period horror.
Drama 2019 111 mins Director: Marco Berger
A tentative friendship blossoms into a beautiful bromance in this erotically-charged yet disarmingly sweet-natured offering from Marco Berger (Taekwondo).
Documentary 2019 124 mins Director: Asif Kapadia
The supreme football superstar is the latest subject for acclaimed filmmaker Asif Kapadia (Amy, Senna), as he deftly explores the complicated dynamic between Diego the man and Maradona the icon.
Documentary 2018 91 mins Director: Werner Herzog
Werner Herzog meets the former President of the Soviet Union in this invigorating portrait of a towering 20th-century figure.
Drama 2017 108 mins Director: Annabel Jankel
Anna Paquin and Holliday Grainger star as two very different women who fall in love in this 1950s-set romantic drama.
Drama 2017 104 mins Director: Sebastián Lelio
This invigorating and inspiring Chilean drama from Sebastián Lelio (Gloria) follows a trans woman’s quest for a little respect. Winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film 2018.